Nearly three dozen House Republicans asked House Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday to pass legislation this year that creates a permanent legislative solution to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"While we firmly believe that Congress must work to address other issues without our broken immigration system, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats come together to solve this problem now and not wait until next year," the 34 lawmakers wrote in a letter to Ryan. "Reaching across the aisle to protect DACA recipients before the holidays is the right thing to do."
Republican Main Street Caucus Chairman Rodney Davis of Illinois and other caucus members joined the group to call for Ryan to move quickly to pass a bill. But that still leaves out more than 200 other House Republicans who did not join the effort.
"This letter shows many Republicans are serious about finding a permanent solution to solving the DACA issue as President Trump has urged Congress to do," Davis said in a statement. "However, we want to work with leadership to craft a solution that will pass, not play political games or hold government funding hostage like some of our Democrat counterparts."
Republicans on the letter were Mark Amodei, Joe Barton, Susan Brooks, Mike Coffman, Ryan Costello, Carlos Curbelo, Rodney Davis, Jeff Denham, John Faso, Brian Fitzpatrick, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, Will Hurd, John Katko, Charlie Dent, Peter King, Adam Kinzinger, Leonard Lance, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Frank LoBiondo, Mia Love, Tom McArthur, Pat Meehan, Dan Newhouse, Bruce Poliquin, Dave Reichert, Mike Simpson, Chris Smith, Elise Stefanik, Chris Stewart, Scott Taylor, Glenn Thompson, Fred Upton, David Valadao, and Mimi Walters.
Former President Barack Obama created DACA through an executive order in 2012. The program allows younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country and work.
In early September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration would wind down the program and end it March 5, 2018, giving Congress a six-month head start to approve a new version of the program through legislation. Congress must pass legislation in order to continue legal protections and work permits for the 795,000 initial recipients and 900,000 renewed recipients, although Trump has hinted he could delay the March 5 deadline.